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A 40-year-long study has identified several key factors that can help men live longer. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that growing old doesn’t have to mean living with disability or disease.
While people are living longer lives, many wonder how they can make the most of the golden years. To shed some light on this, the study’s authors aimed to “identify risk factors for healthy survival that are easily measured…and may be modifiable.”More than 5,800 Japanese American men took part in the Honolulu Heart Program/Honolulu Asia Aging Study, starting when they were about age 54. To see how “well” the men aged, physical fitness, cognitive function, and the incidence of six of the most common age-related chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Parkinson’s disease) were assessed.
The researchers identified the following factors that put the chances of a long life at risk:
Men who lived to age 85 without chronic disease or physical or cognitive impairment were considered “exceptional survivors.” Only 11% fit this category; fortunately, the lifestyle habits that helped them reach this age in good health are attainable by most people. Here are the steps men can take to increase their chances of a long, healthy life:
By adopting some healthy lifestyle choices, you can expect to add some quality to your years.(JAMA 2006;296:2343–50)